Social Mobility

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by theloggie, Jan 13, 2009.

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  1. Apparently the Gov't is trying to get those at the bottom of the social ladder to climb up by investing in the schools.

    No link found (yet) on the BBC News site.

    This is apparently caused by concern that todays children are less likely to 'better' (ie have better paid jobs) their parents.

    Is it me or are those at the bottom of the ladder less likely because they come from a benefits culture and will never better themselves while the nanny state panders to their every 'need' (mobiles, plasma telly, sky telly, fags and cider).

    Should they continue to try to help those that will do nothing to help themselves or should they target instead those near the bottom of the ladder but who have the will and capacity to become 'useful' citizens.

    What is the measure of success on this? Where is the research to justify this expenditure? Can we see the investment appraisal?

    I stand by for comments!!
     
  2. I remember reading years ago that my generation (born 1970s) was going to be the last generation to move up the NRS social grading scale (A, B, C1 etc), despite aspirational motivation. I'm not so sure that there won't be movement between the D-B grades, despite the changing global economic situation, but in some ways it's more interesting to ponder the possible movement from D-E, given the generous benefits provided by the Government and paid for by us. Welfare junkieism is a very real 'career' choice for some people and their aspirations are not to 'better' themselves but to take all they can get, so maybe the Government should look to reduce the funding of the welfare state if they want to encourage upwards social mobility.
     
  3. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Under Labour several commentators have noticed that social mobility has decreased not increased as you would naturally expect and I guess the reasons are as you say, the tax and benefits system skewed to those at the very bottom that keeps them there. The old tory values of getting off your arrse and progressing by your own efforts seemed to have worked better, ironic
     
  4. An interesting topic.

    By the generalisation of "bettering" your parents both myself, Mrs G (also OB and an ex teacher), and her brothers (1 in the OB another is badged PT corps sgt) have already. Hopefully the mini G will do better than both of us and we'll support him all the way.

    There's no secret to it, I went to a sh!t comprehensive school, and grew up on a council estate, but I grew up and realised that you have to work hard to get on (whilst I might not be a Doctor, teacher, or lawyer I think I'm doing OK) and got on with it.

    The problem is that, due to the last 10 years of nanny state culture, young people (and by that I don't mean all) seem to think that everything will be handed to them on a plate. Many come from families where both adults don't work and haven't done so for some time. Throwing money at the schools won't motivate them. Only their parents and teachers can do that.

    Sadly the worst pupils drag down the middle of the road ones trying their best by demanding the teachers attention by either misbehaving or genuinely struggling with the subject matter.

    Meanwhile, the government and sections of the media demonise families who, in order to give their kids a head start, try and get them into the better schools or actually pay for the privilege of their kids getting an education uninterrupted by those without aspiration to better themselves through hard work.

    I truly think this government have no idea of the lack of aspiration amongst the lower reaches of society. Some will see the light and try to better themselves. Sadly many won't.
     
  5. Astonishing. In Northern Ireland the Forces of Socialism have tried the other approach - level down by crippling the Grammar schools' ability to select the most capable of the spotty youth in the Province. They haven't succeeded. The gist of a couple of media pieces from the past couple of days seemed to be that this was to be the plan in the rest of the UK - middle-class parents mustn't give their kids any kind of headstart, as that would be unfair, that sort of thing. Screw them. And get them out at the next election. (What the hell to replace them with, though, that's the question; there's no competent or honest political party left in the UK?)
     
  6. Social mobility, wasn't that once described as getting on ones bike :? Norman Tebbitt I believe 8O

    Or are NeuLiarbour talking about the kind of social mobility that sees those at the more comfortable end of the earning spectrum disadvantaged to the benefit of those who are unfortunately, due to poor circumstance, being at the other extreme along with those too idle or pampered to take any suitable job on offer (and yes I know theres getting less & less jobs going round)
     
  7. The trouble with said 'sink or swim' approach is that for every Branson you create, you get ten thousand slum dwellers.
     
  8. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    To me social mobility isn't something that you can engineer. Socialist gubbermints the world over have tried social engineering in many forms only to find that there are unexpected consequences which usually lead to contrary results.

    The comprehensive school system is a good example. Everyone gets the same education? Market forces don't work like that, I doubt anyone would seriously claim that private schools don't produce a child with a better education and higher prospects. Same with inner city comprehensives compared to one situated in middle class heaven.

    Indeed in these days of every sprog and his pet walking away with straight A grades how would a bright but poor child distinguish themselves from their peers? If they do suceed then its generally by leaving the area they grew up in, relocating of course to a nice area with a good school for their own sprogs.

    I suspect that social mobility as dreamt about in Islington wine bars and bath houses would only really occur through entrepreneurship. This being something, naturally, which isn't taught at school and perversely something which we appear to be utterly shite at as a nation. Doing business studies at school we were told / taught that entrepreneurs didn't need qualifications, probably didn't go to school and were born to be entrepreneurs. Branson was, naturally, the example.

    If it can't be taught then why have I seen so many ex forces (of all ranks) being part of the few who give it a go?
     
  9. Bit like the old joke "I told them about espirit de corps and they looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language"
    Neither the students or their parents, by and large, understand social mobility. They have not experienced it or seen it work to any real extent. The dumbing down attitude makes a mockery of those who have mobilised and are thought of as fox hunting toffs. If one does not aspire to betterment or is encouraged to do so, then movement will not take place regardless of what incentive is on offer. Happy as a pig in sh1t comes to mind.
     
  10. What might help is if we stop rewarding "bad behaviour". I don't think it's only a welfare issue. A lot of social projects focuss on derailed youth. They get a disproportionate amount of attention compared to the ones who try to better their lives. I haven't come across a project yet which aim is to reward kids who do well in school for example.

    My guess is that there's little to no incentive for yobs to change their ways. Cause problems in your neighbourhood -> you'll get a clubhouse. I'd like to see normal kids getting a clubhouse and the chavs to be told 'you can only participate in this if you behave'.
     
  11. Inequality has increased and social mobility has decreased since the 1980s. The post-war introduction of a benevolent but not all-encompassing welfare state did improve equality and mobility. Thatcherism did for that, and New Labour is Thatchers political legacy. This is not something that comes down to party politics, both major parties are virtually indistinguishable.

    There is a small element of people who will wish simply to spend a life scrounging, but the vast majority want simply to live their lives as well as they can, raise their kids and have a bit of relaxation every now and then. People with the drive to achieve something should be given the opportunities and chance, although this should not be completely at public expense.

    Market forces alone will not help. Without a sense of altruism combined with them they will simply make the situation worse. Money will follow the children of the well off, and they will get all of the opportunities regardless of ability.

    An increase in selfishness in public and private sectors and a decrease in integrity in public and private sectors have combined (and are probably connected) to ensure that those at the bottom have no support from anywhere to try to better themselves. Amending the welfare state will have little impact (although it should be done for other reasons); exposing the whole caboodle to the raw market forces that have been so successful in the banking and finance industries will also achieve nothing.

    Education in altruism, selflessness and a common concern for your fellow citizen would solve the cause, but this would take more than one financial year to show a profit, so no private sector money will be available. It would also take more than the lifetime of a Parliament to show results, so no poloitician will sign up.

    It is down to you and your children. If you think it is wrong, get on yer bike, down to the council / school / educational charity / community fund and do something about it.

    Edited for SD
     
  12. A lot does depend on the way you are bought up. My brother and I were bought up to believe that you go out, get a job and you work for a living and have a bit of self respect. I couldn't imagine telling my parents, or even worse, my grandparents that I was unemployed and on benefits. Whilst I certainly didn't excel at school I didn't go round being a little sh1t and distrupting lessons just because I didn't like the subject.

    People are all to willing to blame the Government, the State, where they live etc as the reason why they can't get a job. Whilst a reasonable amount are trying to get a job there is a sizable majority who are sat on their arrses sponging off the State because it pays to be on benefits if you have a poor education because you will get the minimum wage which is less than benefits. They don't care about self respect etc.

    Until it pays more to work rather than sit around we will always have this problem. The Government have made not working such a viable option that's what people chose to do. Whilst I'm not saying we should reduce benefits to the point where people are dying of starvation. Cash benefits should be scrapped in favour of vouchers for food and other essential products. With no cash the scroungers have no money to waste on rubbish and until they get hold of cash they can't have the luxuries that they spend their benefits on at the moment. An option could be to enter Government work programmes.

    As for education why should everybody get the same? If you can afford to give your children a private education go for it. When my son is old enough to go to school mrs p_l and I will be putting him in a local private school because our nearest one isn't that great. Lets be honest how many future CEO's etc are going to be educated at an inner city comprehensive? Not very many. There will always be a social elite who can afford to give their children an excellent education and these children will go on to such positions. It shouldn't mean however, that the rest of us should be content with our lot in life. We should be striving to improve ourselves. There are plenty of examples of people out there who didn't have the best start in the world but are now multi-miliionaires. Look at the board of Dragons Den or Sir Alan Sugar for example. My mother-in-law is a good example. She left her husband because he turned to drink and domestic violence. Despite having to move every couple of years (until her now ex husband died in a drink driving accident) and looking after a young mrs p_l she still managed to study for 2 MSc's and 3 BSc's! She has had her own business now for about 10 or 15 years, providing strategic management advise to all manner of different organisations including the Canadian Government.

    What I'm trying to get at is that everybody from an early age should be encouraged to study hard, try and better themselves and work for a living. Stop encouraging the mincey it doesn't matter if you lost attitude, that won't get you a job. Social background is no bar to success and the sooner people stop using it as an excuse the better.
     
  13. You've all got it wrong.

    Labour policy is not to get those at the bottom nearer to the top, it is to get as many people as possible to the bottom.
     
  14. I don't think that 'people' have changed much since I was a kid. Where I grew up, you weren't 'allowed' to better yourself through being bright at school or having a musical talent or a desire to pursue higher education. If you were talented at football however, you were king (bit like today really). The local sh*te wouldn't let you do anything that they didn't want you to or moreover, what they couldn't do themselves.

    Gang culture was no different to what it is today. It was there, it mugged people, made lives a misery and couldn't care less what society thought of it. Stabbings? They weren't regular but they certainly weren't unheard of. Crime? No real difference between then and now. Attitudes to work or rather. how to survive financially through not working? No noticeable difference between then and now, apart from the fact that there are more benefits available nowadays and more people who know what they are 'entitled' to, despite there being more in the way of stopping them.

    The teachers put up with the same sh*t then as they do today, it's just that they didn't do so with one hand tied behind their backs. The cops were quite prepared to give you a slap as well. And usually did before asking any questions. School was considered a place where parents got the kids from underneath their feet for 6 or 7 hours a day. Most parents in my area lacked any aspiration and were more or less resigned to their lot. There was very little in the way of inspiration. The Careers Officer at school pidgeon holed everybody. If someone managed to get an apprenticeship with some of the offshore firms, it was something for the family to brag about. Everybody else was generally destined for the local factories, unless of course you wanted to join up. Tecahers didn't do much in the way of inspiring you to pursue an education as they pidgeon holed you as well. The toffs at our school were the copper's kids. The rest of us were f*ck all but cannon fodder for the factories or the dole. Any kid who showed the merest hint of 'breaking away' was laughed at by the teachers. You had a place in society, you knew where it was and you were not to get above your station. Any attempt to do so, went unsupported by those in a position to help you and you dare not mention it after school, as the local sh*te that you hung around with would ensure that you remained in the same pool as them. Kids don't like to be singled out, so you fell in behind.

    I'm not sure when I compare then and now, that we've actually progressed very far as a society. As individuals, we may have, but we still possess that un savoury aspect of greed and a desire to do less yet expect more in return. I know that I have done better than my Dad ever did. He knew that I had long before before he died. He was quietly proud of me, but he grew up with even less opportunity than I had, and I didn't have much of it when I was a kid. On the rare occasions that I do return to where I grew up, those who I grew up with, still have the same attitudes that they did when they were kids. They resent anyone who rose above their level. Some of these c*nts are actually grandparents now (so breeding young isn't a new trend either) and their kids grew up with the same attitudes, which they are in the process of passing on to their own kids. As such, I don't think that today's society comprises any more in the way of work-shy, benefit scrounging, wastes of skin than it did when I was a kid. It's just that today we give them more.
     
  15. You mean a 'Harley Davidson' shurely.

    There's a flaw to the whole social mobility project. Look at the North East - especially the constituencies that enjoy the patronage of MPs like Bliar, Milburn, Mandelsohn, Miliband, Nick Brown and a few other senior players in Neu Liabour.

    Even after all these years, all these constituencies still contain horrendous levels of poverty and hopelessness and, alas, the problem of unemployment continues to grow. So much for voting in The People's Champions time and time again.

    That band of Labour MPs from the North East has mobilised itself out of the area and into Westminster with great and lucrative success, leaving the poor deluded baskets who voted them in far, far behind.

    I'm off to feed the peacocks and beat the gardener.